Tired of Thinking About Drinking

if you are drinking then you will be irritated by me

i’m sharing this email from my inbox because i get this question every so often, and so i know that if one person is saying it, then 10 people are thinking it!

and let me preface this by saying that if you’d like to leave a comment below, please be kind. if you are not kind, i won’t moderate the comment 🙂 You can criticize me, I’m OK with that. Just don’t be shitty with each other.

from my inbox:

SLL:

“For some reason I can’t respond to some of the stuff you’ve been sending out by email. You are doing a lot of good. But you are irritating me beyond belief. You don’t seem to know where you fit!? The commercial push is starting to grate. Then you apologize for it. You are doing a lot of good, but perhaps it’s time to make it a business vs a pseudo penpal thingy. Do it for free or do it as a therapist. You’ve helped a lot of people, just make up your mind as to what you’re going to do. Free blogger or business. Nothing wrong with either one.”

me: 

hi there, thanks for this. What I’ve been doing is a model that is 80% free with 20% paid. It’s sort of like Facebook. Lots of people use only the free stuff, and then some people pay – and those who pay cover enough of the expenses to keep it going for everyone. I’m sorry if I’m irritating to you. I’m not a therapist so I can’t really say that I am. I’m just a sober girl with 2100+ penpals.

Wolfie will often tell you that I am full of shit because I’m (a) sober and/or (b) that I seem happy to be sober. If you’re drinking a bit these days, then wolfie will tell you that I can’t help you … which isn’t true. My commercial links are the same as they have been for 18 months. One shameless commercial link per email, at the bottom of the message usually.

And you’re irritated but you’re still here 🙂 Which is good 🙂 Your spot in the challenge is here, too. Let me know when you’d like to begin again. You’re member 275. That doesn’t change.

hugs from me

SLL:

“Fair enough, thanks for the response. Will keep in touch :)”

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56 thoughts on “if you are drinking then you will be irritated by me

  1. Anonymous on said:

    I don’t care if Belle is a registered therapist or a grammar school drop out or both or neither! She saved me. Plain and simple, Belle and all the other people on this site, saved me. I would still be drinking. I’m on Day 138 today and I could have NEVER done this without Belle and all of her subscribers. There is power in numbers. Free or not free – makes no difference to me. I’m not drinking. That’s worth all the gold in the world.
    – Sober in Richmond

  2. jock on said:

    This is so obvious it doesn’t need saying but here goes anyway.
    What’s wrong with supporting someone who puts so much into helping other people?

  3. Anonymous on said:

    It sounds to me like Wolfie (aka the SOB in my head) is winding you up. Belle is doing what Belle does. You do what you do.

  4. Anonymous on said:

    Biggest hugs and kisses to you Belle! Freaking hell, we all have to survive, I for one wish I could give more, considering all that you give….
    Willow!

  5. Janna on said:

    By Belle’s services being free with the option to spend a little to get a little more, it works for more people – not a “one size fits all” service, take it all or leave it all. I personally didn’t need more than her free pen pal accountability to get through the first 100 days, but eventually became curious enough to try a few recordings and found them thoughtful and helpful. I purchased her wonderful book Keeping The Wolf From the Door, specifically to show her my appreciation for all she’s doing – I admire entrepreneurship, as well as service to others; this is both. Thank you, Belle, for 253 days!

  6. sheila on said:

    Belle,
    I was just giving up drinking for lent but was struggling until I found your blog and figured out I need help and you were there. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 78 days sober and never felt better. I don’t mind the commercial links, if I think it will help me I buy it if not I don’t, simple!

  7. Trixie on said:

    I can’t remember the last time, if any time, that someone offered to help me with a deep, personal problem (or even a tiny, non-personal task) and asked nothing in return except to be kind to myself and others.

    One of the biggest differences I notice with myself (day 105) is that I am more grateful and less pissy.

  8. Canadian Girl on said:

    Our primal requirements for happiness (sobriety) are human contact and acceptance.
    Addiction, however, seeks isolation and rejection..
    ( problems, problems everywhere but lots of drops to drink!)
    Belle, you are that accepting, human contact, thankfully for your 2000 pen pals!
    SLL, problems and irritations are really easy to drum up. Unfortunately, your addictive brain is trying to make a problem out of the very person that can help you! Jump in, reboot, flourish!!

    • Anonymous on said:

      I am thinking this all takes ALOT of time and effort on Belle’s part. People need to make a living too. This site maintains consistency. I know that I am going to get an email almost every day that motivates me. I have followed many blogs where the writer stops writing for days then weeks because they have to make a living doing other things. Keep doing what you do Belle. I haven’t bought anything from you but maybe I will for my 1 year.

  9. SoberinNY on said:

    I have to admit all has not been smooth for me on this quest for sobreity. Stops and starts number infinity for me. When I have a sober stretch I LOVE the emails. I even get a bit concerned when belle is quieter than “usual”. When I wake up to another day 1, I HATE those emails because they call me on my Bullshit. Sending a “thanks” via the tiny gift button today.
    Shameless commercial links can be highly entertaining. And the treat box is THE BEST

  10. Whack Job on said:

    Just left a some cash via the Tiny Gift Button, it was long overdue. That’s my response.

    This person seems really angry, I’ve gotten angry too, still do (15 months), so don’t take it personally. They are probably lashing out at a lot of people (and inanimate objects!).

    Hopefully they stick around, this works for me. Meetings, therapy etc not for me. Maybe this person is a bit like me will find what you do a great alternative to where they are now.

  11. I would say that the more tools that Belle is able to offer, the wider the ways she is able to help people. there are so many tools, all of which may help different people in different ways. for example, I have the ‘Stay Here’ bracelet which has been an enormous help to me in moments of doubt and wobble. a Jumpstart programme or an anti-Wolfie mug might help others in different ways.

    the more lifeboats available = more boozers saved from the booze shipwreck. and if some – not all – of the lifeboats have a ticket price I am absolutely fine with that.

    as of a couple of days ago I am eighteen months sober and every day of them spent being hugely grateful to Belle.

    I only find her irritating because she keeps talking about her damn lemon bars and STILL hasn’t shared the recipe 🙂

  12. Hey!
    This business model doesn’t irritate me. I only use the free stuff and I think it’s great. It would be hard to keep something like this going if there was no commercial element. I have recommended the blog on sites like SR … I don’t see what the problem is. I see random advertising on nearly every site. At least this advertising is relevant 😉

  13. Anonymous on said:

    When I came across Belle’s blog, I too – was astonished that an individual was offering to help complete strangers in this way.
    I used to get irritated with so much ( and oh! I most certainly still DO ).
    One of many aspects sobriety has taught me – is to be kinder to my own self.
    Usually, when someone else irritates me, there is something lacking in my own existence and / or actions.
    That is simply ” me “, however – and I am well aware that I can be a prick.
    I used to roll my eyes at people – well – like ” me ” ! … meaning : why the hell would anyone WANT to be sober ? … LAME, right?
    Oh. I was mistaken. Now.
    I cannot help but wonder : why the hell would anyone keep putting themselves through the hell that constitutes constantly ‘thinking about drinking’?
    The first time I read (a) ” shameless commercial link ” , I chuckled.
    I thought to myself: I like this woman, Belle. She has a sense of humour.
    I am glad that SLL wrote about feeling irritated.
    Everyone has something to teach us and different opinions can spark interesting conversations. I hope I do not sound too preachy or pricky ( or something-ha! )…
    I wish SLL well and each of you, also.
    Thank you so much, Belle!

  14. LindaD on said:

    Belle, first and foremost, you know that I adore you and adore every single ounce of support, help and encouragement I get from you. My first reaction to this was to get really angry at SLL, but the new me decided to read through all the comments and I calmed down….obviously everybody feels the exact same way that I do about everything you do. The other feeling I have is a little tiny bit of guilt because I haven’t supported you yet….so let me go do that as the very next thing. I never feel AT ALL like you would do less for somebody that doesn’t financially contribute and that makes you an angel to me. As somebody else said, if we can support you we do and I know you appreciate it and when we just take from you you are okay with that too. You are a blessing, plain and simple.

  15. JenniferKay on said:

    I continue to say the same words over and over, but they remain true…Belle is a gift. I love the commercial links because they’re funny to me, and I love seeing what new treats are available, and I bought the charm bracelet which is adorable and has sober magic!!! I know that when I stopped and started, I couldn’t even open Belle’s emails because I was filled with regret, and I didn’t want to hear about the great sober life…BUT Belle is right…about everything…once you get some sober time (at least 100 days :)..your Wolfie (SOB) voice goes away…a lot. Please trust what Belle says…please because it will happen for you.Thank you Belle and all of Belle’s people. You’ve changed my life, and I love everything you do for me and others!!!

    Shameless commercial link: yes Belle, I’m reading, I’m listening, I’m following!!!

  16. Anonymous on said:

    Not even counting the days any more. Thanks for all you’ve done to put me on this road and all you continue to do!

  17. Nickie on said:

    I would not be here if it were not for Belle and now Crystal. I could not talk to my husband, friends or other family about my drinking because of my shame. You have freed me! And I love the book.

  18. Anonymous on said:

    One of the best pieces of advice that was ever shared with me is in life 10% of people will love what you do, 10% will hate it, and the remaining 80% keep coming back.

    Thank you for what you do. It means a lot to me to have someone check in. It is amazing to me that you take the time to read every email and care about everyone of us. It means a lot to me for you to share your story and to allow me to share (if I choose).

    I grew up in an alcoholic family. Where I was taught things like avoidance as a coping skill. I was also taught to numb myself from my opinions, thoughts and feelings. Another huge part of that culture was also shaming and not sharing. Not communicating with each other, or sharing what was going on inside our home. Having someone to share your journey with is a huge part of the healing.

    I can say I agree with SLL on the apology for the shameless plug. Although, I don’t share the same passion about it. I am of the feeling that it is good practice not to apologize for doing good, for being who we are. I have looked at your merchandise page, you are selling very thoughtful items. I had the feeling you cared about is more.

    Thank you for what you do

  19. There will alwayd be someone who is not happy with something. If it is not a link, then it will be something you said, something you didn’t say. Or didn’t drink. 🙂 But just like you said – he or she is still here. And you are here as well to offer help.

  20. Anonymous on said:

    Personally, you have been, and are, a big asset in my sobriety ( I almost said that you are a big tool, but that might be misconstrued. !) I agree with the observation that it seems as if ‘ you don’t know where you fit,’ and yes, it can be ‘grating.’
    That said, see my first sentence, above.
    Perhaps more transparency about your business model– 80% all about you ( us) and 20% for my (your) time. Perhaps something in the commercial link, permanently, stating this outright?
    xoxoxo. Lynn. Day 116. (!!!!!!!!))

  21. mallards4us on said:

    Hi, In the beginning of my journey to really work on stopping the drinking- close to ONE year ago- it was Belle’s website that I found and read…all the days with tears in my eyes. I immediately signed up for the Jumpstart class and got on the list for the 100 day challenge. It was this site, Belle, and all the email support that has helped me.
    I still have not made it to my 100 days (but I’m close to 50 this time and I’m going to make it!)- but Belle has been supportive and kind EVERY SINGLE TIME. She doesn’t go away and that means the WORLD to me. At first, I bought her care packages b/c it felt GOOD to have someone else in the world give a crap about me and my sobriety and that was truly my jump start to getting more support.

    Belle, I thank you for your support in every single way. xoxoxo

  22. Hi there,
    Belle, you were there for me, that in itself is a priceless gift I will always be grateful for, however I have noticed recently a subtle shift in your replys. Somewhat patronizing, glib and even confused. Not everyone can run! Some people can barely walk. I can see that post as irritating as heck for some. Not everything can be attributed to your “wolfie”.
    I put it down to an overload, too many responses, too many needy, training an assistantt, etc. perhaps. Maybe time to review your capacity? I am still a subscriber, however I must admit I don’t always read the posts anymore, they have stopped resonating with me.
    In the final analysis, you do this for free, that is completely admirable.
    Anyway, that’s my feedback, hope this helps,
    Still sober day 58,
    Myriam

    • JenniferKay on said:

      I like your analogies. I do read the posts because I always get something; I’m always learning, and I love to get new ideas or insight. I always feel like your responses are spot on, and exactly what I need. I love the humor you bring to your writing too. Also, I’m learning that a lot can be attributed to wolfie…I think of wolfie as a negative thought that attempts to prevent me from being my best me…of course, it’s the “you must drink to have fun” wolfie, but it’s also the ” you’re not a good enough Mom” wolfie, the “you need to clean/cook/do laundry more” wolfie, the “you need to stop eating so much junk” wolfie etc…When you look at wolfie in that manner, I do think that a lot of the constant chatter in our head is wolfie. The thing is…I only recognized wofie’s voice once I stopped drinking!!!! xoxoxo

    • soberinNY on said:

      I read all the posts– some apply to me and some don’t. Like they say in AA, take what you need and leave the rest.
      As for the “patronizing, glib and confused” statement– I’m not seeing it. Every email I have sent Belle has been answered on a personal level…. and NOT always the answer I WANT to hear, but usually the answer I NEED to hear.

    • INNEEDOFGRACE on said:

      In response to “not everyone can run”, that’s part of the whole sobriety support system. Not everyone can run but it’s inspiring, and nice to be able to live through someone else’s accomplishments when we all have the same challenge in common, staying sober 🙂 Like today, I may even go for a walk because Belle has inspired me through her sharing, much like AA where hearing someone else discuss their progress let’s the next person (alcoholic) know that it can be done. Look at it from the positive and you will not think of it as self serving, but encouraging just as everything else that Belle has set out to do~ Thanks Belle…Still Sober 1.7 years.

  23. Cocomac on said:

    Belle. A big thank you and hugs for being here / there / wherever you are? I have had a fairly easy ride on the sobriety train (day 219) BUT I don’t take it for granted and love to read your blog and those of other sober friends. Your commercial links make me smile. Cocomac xxx

  24. Anonymous on said:

    Belle your mix of free help and paid support has been of great help to me. And yesterday was day 100!!! I am thankful beyond words for your support and so happy to see myself and my life changing for the better each day! Keep up what your doing. You don’t need to be a freaking therapist!! Peer support is what you offer and it’s powerful medicine!!! Love, miss M

  25. Untipsyteacher on said:

    It’s up to you if you want to buy something or not.
    But here’s the thing; I am now 8 months sober because of all I learned from Belle and her support!

  26. Grateful girl on said:

    Belle you have made a huge difference to my journey so far. I feel your support is so valuable. You are reaching out to so many and if you need finances to do this I am happy to contribute. I looked into a therapist and that was going to cost thousands. Thank you

  27. Suzan on said:

    I love everything that Belle does and wish there was more I could do to support her. Her enthusiasm and honest posts make me feel like I had a best friend doing this challenge with me. This blog, and the whole community, have been my saving grace during Wolfies late night attacks… Proud to be 102 days out (second go round – after first 100 days I thought I was smarter than Wolfie) and committed to 180 days this time. I love her shameless commercial links and proudly wear my FUW bracelet everyday to keep me on track <3 Belle being Belle has allowed me to become a better me!!! 🙂

  28. Mastiffmom on said:

    Like most others, I buy what I find useful and rely on the free stuff to keep me sober. Unfortunately, I started drifting away from it after 100+ days and Wolfie snuck in.
    Belle was the first one I told and was right there for me. She recommended that I get Prelapse sober cast. Yes it was $3 for 15 minutes, but it was the best $3 I had spent all weekend and I only wish I had spent it prior to Wolfie sneaking up. In the past, falling off the wagon would lead to months of drinking. This time, it was one day of down and out blackout drinking and an email to Belle.
    Sober 7 days thanks to support from this site.

  29. Gabbygirl37 on said:

    Belle before I stopped drinking I was “cranky” all the time. I get how this person feels. My job annoyed me, my kids annoyed me, my bf annoyed me. Then I tried your 100 Sober Day Challenge. I did not succeed the first time and you let me start over again. Those treats saved me. You Belle saved me. Today is Sober Day 200 for me. One of the best parts of being sober is not much bothers me anymore. Sure my kids (5 teenagers) can get “under my skin” but that is normal. The difference is how I am reacting to them and everything in my life. And so Belle please keep those commercials coming. As soon as I have money I will be buying you a cup of coffee!!!! My big deal (sale) crashed and burned last week and “yes” I was upset and then I got over it. The difference is I did not go buy a 12 pack of Miller Lite to bury my feelings. So THANK YOU Belle! I owe you my LIFE!!!!!! I would not be the happy sober person that I today if it weren’t for you. YOU are my ROCK STAR!!!!!!!!!

  30. yogayamagirl on said:

    I am coming up on 100 days….I could not have done it without you!
    Thank you

  31. Indianlake on said:

    SLL is just irritated and taking out her anger at Belle, that’s all, no harm, no foul, makes us discuss and that is cool. Although this is a different business model than most because this is a different situation than most, I think it fits us all just perfectly. We can take what we need and leave what we feel we should and can afford. I like the fact that there are no sponsored ads other than Belle’s Shameless Self Promotion which makes me laugh daily. I think Belle is killing it in a situation where she has no formal role models, no business models to follow, and is actually a patient as well as the therapist who needs us as much as we need her (okay, maybe not that much). If it makes her feel better to apologize for asking, then let it be. The service is invaluable and she has left it for us to put our own price tag on it? Priceless.

  32. I am curious why SSL feels so strongly that Belle must be only “one way”. What’s wrong with being a little this and a little that? What’s wrong with a person finding their own unique path that works for them in this world? Isn’t that what we are all trying to do?
    The reason I became a habitual evening drinker in the first place was from decades of trying to fit into a rigid corporate workplace environment. Those corporations demanded that everyone always be alike and be the “one way” — the way that the corporation approved of.
    Black and white thinking is always dangerous in our gray world. As others have mentioned, the way Belle operates allows those who have the financial resources to purchase more services, but those of us who are going through tough times are not left without a life boat. Yes this is a trend setting business plan that I have never seen before. Throughout history there have been many instances of “different” ending up being just ahead of one’s time and sometimes genius.
    Thank you Belle, for all that you do.

  33. Anonymous on said:

    Please don’t change anything, still sober and still struggling but 136 days now and only because I don’t want you to start me at day 1 again, you are accountability for me and lige gettimg better, you are always there when I need support and for free, I got the FYW bracelet to help me through tuff times and

  34. Paulita on said:

    I’m 10 months sober and would not be so without Belle. I use all of the tools that i need. At the beginning, I checked in daily (and sometimes many times daily), I listened to the audios (they are fab and funny). When I felt a wobble coming on, i booked a phone call with Belle (i can’t recommend that enough). I have just bought the ebook and I am thoroughly enjoying it and it helped me through a rocky weekend. I haven’t bought jewellery ‘cos I’m not a bracelet kind of gal. I DO want to go to a sober meet up and meet Belle in real life and I do want to buy a treat box. Love the daily micro emails and something feels a bit off if they don’t appear in my inbox. i have learned something huge from Belle. Sobriety is about self-care, being kind to ourselves, treats and more treats. I know i can buy some sober treats considering how much i would have spend on 10 months of wine 🙂 You keep doing what you’re doing Belle. I don’t know how you do it – you are a wise soul and I am so glad that you are not a therapist. Just a sober girl – like me now! Love the comments – I want to hug everyone

  35. Dancing Rabbit on said:

    If we paid Belle just half of what we spent on booze for the days she’s helped us be sober she would be a very wealthy woman. Even a dollar for each day sober? Underpriced.

  36. Anonymous on said:

    You already have so many responses. You don’t need one more… oh but i want to. So here goes. What they said…. ^_~

    I would not be on day 134 without your support. I am forever indebted to you.
    Really, I am without words adequate enough to describe. But I just want you to know…you’re ok. There is NOTHING wrong with the way you do it. I also wish, like many, that I could give you a million dollars. And if I ever win the lottery, I would surely share it with you.

  37. Beachluvn Annie on said:

    We can not keep what we don’t give away…
    Sobriety can not be done alone (just ask Wolfie, his entire game is to divide, isolate and conquer)…
    I once had issue with the $$$ part, see first line (give away); but then, I let go … I take what I can use, and leave the rest and contribute what I can …
    If it works, work it … if it doesn’t don’t…
    ANY day sober is better than any day drunk.

    Thanks Belle ….

  38. Beki on said:

    Personally I’m still drinking, but I’m scaling it down week by week. You don’t irritate me at all, I read your mails each night before I go to bed and they always make me feel hopeful that I will get to a place very soon when I can smack my wolfie on the head, squash her flat and buy some running shoes
    It’s coming, things are getting better in my head
    And you and all the other amazing people on the blog help that to happen every day. It also makes me laugh a lot, which is a bonus
    Personally I’m pretty skint, so I buy the podcasts you offer up for pence, and I listen to them while I’m cleaning my grandmas house, which gets me through it. I can’t wait to buy your book next pay day and I’m going to buy it for my mum too ( I talk about “my friend Belle” of the interweb a lot) thanks a million Belle for being you xxx

  39. Summer walking on said:

    My first thoughts on reading SLL’s post is that we do what is right for us. The way you have chosen to support others in their sober journey is what is right for you and I think that is why it is worked for so many of us. There are so many internet sites that are purely money making yours is life making. A subtle difference. I know I am where I am now 145 days and after trying to be sober many times this is the first time it has been life changing. Your shameless commercial link always brings a big smile to my face as it is right in line with my sense of humour. I have the stay here bracelet and the one with the cup, lighthouse etc which I wear everyday as my visual reminder of the tools I have available to me. On a personal growth side it has been wonderful for me to learn to reach out to someone (you) who expects nothing in return and to sit and feel ok with that. This has been a big challenge to me. I thank you for this so much. When I am down I love to listen to your audios. It all works for me.
    SLL I wish you all the best in your journey.

  40. patty on said:

    Belle, maybe SLL is having a hard time fitting in … Like you said, she is still here. As a Certified Health Coach I see this often. Your response was perfect. You gently allowed her to vent and kept her place open for her without the least bit of guilt. Good medicine. Please continue doing what you’re doing, it’s working for over 2100 people. Good job!

  41. sad. I haven’t read all the support your sober gals have given you above. I’m not on your blog regularly. My thoughts. Let us Help you. Why don’t you Post contributed,ideas that have helped us.Emails from us. Work as your shameless commercial. Maybe change the name to “It Worked for Me. Short post of what worked for us. Relating to similar personalities, experiences. Audios that you provide, Sober Store, Wolfie, etc. You always are there for us. Receiving emails,post like that could be given “A Second Chance”. … Hugs JP Thanks for all you do.

  42. Rosemarie on said:

    Belle I admire you for putting yourself out there and opening up and sharing and cheering and counseling. I think your model is perfectly flexible and you are a great role model. I would not be at day 250 today were it not for you. Before you, I had stopped drinking a few times, once for 1.5 years, once for 6 months, multiple 3-monts stints (grad school work didn’t mix with alcohol). Now I have complete confidence my sobriety will go on. I just keep learning new things everyday from Belle and all of this wonderful community. . I do not have the time or patience for AA. What you do Belle is perfect. I justified buying some tools and treats based on using just a fraction of what I was not spending on booze. I’m glad I did. Worth it’s weight in gold. Thank you and hugs.

  43. It was all or nothing on said:

    Please don’t change a thing, still sober, still struggling sometimes and only made it this far (136) because I don’t want to have to ask you to start me on day 1 again, you are accountability for me and I can never thank you enough, I use all the free stuff, bought a FYW bracelet to remind me why I do this and a few audios, you are always there to answer our emails about stuff you’ve heard a thousand times already, I could never pay a therapist enough to get this kind of attention, you are Belle, you are one of a kind, you are the light that so many of us need. Thank you.

  44. Mary on said:

    I read this post this morning (NZ time), and all day have been thinking a lot on how to respond to it. I haven’t responded to any of your posts before so I want to start by saying thank you Belle, and I think your quirky words (a lot of which are SPOT ON) have helped a lot of people.
    I have been sober for a couple of months, not keen on the AA model so am getting through day by day by working on my own self insight and looking at blogs occasionally. Your blog is one of these. For me, it’s a supplement to work I’m doing myself, and to hear the stories of others and know that there are others going through the exact same stuff. So I’m not heavily engaged with the site, more of a casual passerby – perhaps once a week. I read your daily emails. And, as I said, I think a lot of your words are gold.
    However. And I DO mean this kindly, I’m trying to be very honest, and I hope it is received in the way that it’s intended. There is something *slightly* uneasy about the side of the site that costs $$, and I think what irks me is the attempt to create a brand. Which there is nothing wrong with. It just doesn’t sit too well with me personally. I guess I feel very strongly that I’m on my own journey, and the branding aspect (‘shit belle says’, ‘wolfie’ etc) isn’t something for me personally. I want to have my own language to talk about my experiences and battles. Also, I have noticed a number of sites to help people give up booze, but that cost money. This particular one made me want to vomit all over my computer [website removed] – I’m sure that some people will benefit from this, but to me it stinks of someone gaining financially from others being in a bad place and needing help. I don’t put you in the same basket, but there is a wider trend out there on the interwebs. You have built up integrity through your blog and load of people have huge respect for you, but it’s a potentially dangerous area for untrained people to get into. And there is a huge potential to do harm, despite what their intentions may be. This isn’t about your site, but I have big picture concerns about the ‘genre’ of ad hoc online addiction counselling.
    So yeah, that’s my bit. I take what I need from your site and I’m grateful for the time you put into it. I ignore the parts that irritate me. There are podcasts I think sound great, but I’m not going to pay for them. I hope others do, and it inspires them.

  45. jock on said:

    If the astonishing support Belle gives us was purely commercial it somehow wouldn’t mean so much, to us or I reckon to Belle. She has a special gift and shares it graciously. That being said, I am a regular supporter. I haven’t been anywhere near this long sober for 35 years and a huge part of that is down to her.

  46. Hi, cheers to SLL and to you Belle for your response. The comments the discussion has provoked are rich and fertile ground. I was fascinated by the fact one subscriber finds some emails or advice ‘patronising, glib, confused’. I don’t hear them that way. But then it struck me that of course, you supply the content, each reader supplies the soundtrack. We hear what we want to hear. Early on I was put off by the commercial links but they make complete sense now. They give me a way to give back a tiny something in exchange for all the amazing energy you give for free.

  47. JenniferKay on said:

    Hello: I was also a little confused by the subscriber who mentioned the huge potential to cause harm…I believe the complete opposite…First, we cause ourselves harm by drinking too much and worrying about our drinking. Secondly, Belle has a lot of personal experience and insight through her own journey and ours, and she answers based on the real-life experience, I’m sure that she also knows when a follower needs more help than she can provide and makes the appropriate
    recommendation for further treatment. Also, I don’t feel that Belle is trying to gain financially from others being in a bad place and needing help…honestly, as many others have mentioned, you can pay for extra help, but she provides a lot…a lot of help at no cost. I’m sorry that I keep going on and on, but Belle has changed my life…quitting drinking has had such a huge positive impact on my life that I can’t wrap my head around any criticism toward this site or Belle…I could not or would not have stopped drinking without Belle’s honesty and encouragement.

  48. soberinNY on said:

    sorry to respond again…. but if you go to an AA meeting, a basket is passed. It is up to the individual if they wish to contribute.
    And really, if you are good at something, don’t you deserve some compensation for the time and effort expended ? Does a surgeon work for free? how about a therapist?
    I think it’s great to be able to do something that you have a talent for, and are passionate about and maybe reap some financial reward in the process. there is no pressure to “succumb” to the shameless commercial link.

  49. Anonymous on said:

    You’re absolutely entitled to value your own time and build this site in whatever model you choose. Clearly you do a lot of good for a lot of people.

    Nevertheless it seems the main purpose of this post may have been to instigate some cheerleading, rather asking for genuine critical discussion. Would’ve been perfectly easy to append a question to your mailouts if you wanted feedback.

    I am absolutely in awe of everything you’ve done to help people and the effect you’ve had, clearly you’re doing an awful lot every day. But it’s been a long time since I found a useful new post on here. I’m not disgruntled, this isn’t ‘Wolfie’, just a genuine response to a question from a genuine person.

  50. Canadian Girl on said:

    You find it irritating that on the website you have browsed about sobriety there are some things and services that are not free! This probably means it’s a rip off, not legitimate, unprofessional, and not bonefide sobriety support.
    There is no point using this site to help you quit drinking!
    Hey! Anybody else see whats in the room???
    WOLFIE in da HOUSE!!!!
    Everyone please stay awhile and be gentle with yourselves. Belle is a kind and generous woman with a light hearted, non judgemental take on sobriety that just might
    be your fresh start.

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